Each of you will have your own definition of “professional blogger.” Mine is someone who earns their living as a blogger, either through advertising revenue on their sites or getting paid to write posts on someone else’s sites (usually ghostwritten). Such a writer might also earn money by other means such as e-book sales, giving lectures, consulting, flipping sites, etc.
This site, if I understand correctly, is aimed at helping those bloggers who want to do this as a living (as well as helping build relationships). It’s as good a time as any to consider your options. Bloggers For Hire recently discussed blogging as a profession, quoting a similar article from the Christian Science Monitor.
The latter concludes that bloggers can make money but most of use are keeping our day jobs. They quote the well-known Mr. ProBlogger himself, Darren Rowse, who says that he put in eight- to sixteen-hour days – something many new bloggers don’t (or don’t want to?) see.
One By One Media, which is affiliated with Bloggers For Hire, expands on the discussion in Like money for nothing. They include an interesting quote from a WSJ (Wall Street Journal) article (subscribers only), in which BlogAds.com’s Henry Copeland says that most self-employed (full-time) bloggers “take in between $2,000 and $10,000 a month from ad sales.” Would that it were so – I certainly don’t take in that much in ads. However, as I think David Krug said here, I’d blog regardless of the money.
On the other hand, I do ghostblog for some people who do far more than that. The WSJ article also says that political bloggers can make $20-30K/mth around election time. Don’t forget that they also give updates every 30-60 minutes, and follow news sources all day long. It just goes to show you that if you’re good at your niche, you’ll be rewarded.
So ultimately, you have to ask yourself why you are doing this. For fun, for a bit of extra cash, or as a career? For me, it started as “fun”. (I’m a know-it-all windbag, so I have lots to write about.) Then a bit of cash trickled in, and then some more, and so on. Now I’m sort of hovering between part-time and full-time earnings, depending on how much contract work I get done each month. (And as a direct result of what I’ve learned, my own sites are starting to pick up a bit.)
Just remember one thing: it takes effort, but ultimately, it can pay off. Now, what does being a professional blogger mean to you?